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Discussing sustainability for Earth Day 2024: How to reduce plastic waste, recycle hearing aids, recycle hearing aid batteries and donate hearing aids

Kimberley Bradshaw - Head of Marketing
Written By:
Kimberley Bradshaw

Head of Customer Content Experience

Paul Harrison Hearing Aid UK Founder & Audiologist
Medically Reviewed By:
Paul Harrison

Audiology Expert & Founder

Updated: 4th April 2024
Earth Day 2024

Earth Day 2024

 Discussing how to recycle hearing aids, recycle hearing aid batteries, and donate hearing aids


Earth Day 2024, Monday 22nd April 2024 

Planet Vs Plastic

#EarthDay  #EarthDay2024  #GoGreen  #SaveThePlanet  #ClimateAction  #EcoFriendly  #SustainableLiving  #ActOnClimate

Earth Day is an annual global observance celebrated on April 22nd, dedicated to raising awareness and promoting environmental protection and sustainability. This event is an opportunity to bring people together from all walks of life to acknowledge the importance of preserving our planet and taking collective action to address environmental challenges.

Earth Day serves as a platform for individuals, organisations, and governments to initiate positive environmental changes, such as promoting renewable energy, reducing waste, conserving resources, and pushing for policies that support a healthier and more sustainable future. we discuss how to recycle hearing aids, recycle hearing aid batteries, and donate hearing aids.

This Earth Day the theme is Planet vs Plastic so we will also explore how hearing aid manufacturers are working to lower their impact and help you to choose the more ecologically sound options.


How do I recycle hearing aids, recycle hearing aid batteries, and donate hearing aids?

Perhaps you have an old pair of hearing aids you don’t know what to do with or maybe you have been diagnosed with hearing loss and are wondering about the environmental impact of your new hearing aids.

How to live sustainably has increasingly become a priority for many of our customers so we’re answering our hearing aid users’ questions on ways to go greener and do your bit for charity, this Earth Day 2024.



 Earth Day 2024

How to get the best out of your hearing aid batteries


Improving hearing aid battery life -  What can I do to make my hearing aid batteries last longer?

There are several easy ways to get the most out of your batteries. By adding these small actions to your day-to-day routine, you can significantly lengthen the lifespan of your hearing aid batteries, reducing costs if you pay for them and the amount of waste produced. Here are our favourite tips:


  • Follow the 5-minute rule:  

Let the batteries rest after removing the sticker tab. By not putting them directly into the hearing aid allows the air to properly activate the batteries which can considerably extend their lifespan.


  • Store spare batteries properly:

Batteries are best stored in their original packaging, ideally in a place that is cool and dry. Humidity and heat can affect the power of the batteries.


  • Leave the battery door open:

When not in use conserve your batteries’ lifespan by leaving the hearing aid doors open, for example when they are removed for sleeping.



Earth Day 2024

Recycling hearing aids in the UK


How to recycle hearing aids you no longer use

My hearing aids use disposable batteries, once they go flat can they be recycled?  Yes. Most domestic health appliances such as hearing aids use disposable zinc-air batteries. All household batteries, including the ‘button’ style batteries in hearing aids, can be recycled.


Where can I recycle my old hearing aid batteries?

Hearing aid batteries should not be put in household waste or recycling bins however collection points for your batteries can be found at doctors’ surgeries and audiology departments. Several charities such as Cancer Research also have battery recycling schemes with collection points in their shops.


Rechargeable batteries and hearing aids - Options for a sustainable alternative to disposable batteries

Are hearing aid batteries rechargeable?  Yes, if you would rather use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones, many of the latest hearing aid models come with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.


How do rechargeable batteries work?

These batteries are generally only available in Behind-the-Ear style hearing aids. Some models of digital hearing aids are designed to be directly charged for convenience, such as by being plugged into the mains or placed on a charging station. They are usually recharged overnight whilst removed for sleeping.



 Earth Day 2024

Recycling and donating old hearing aids in the UK


How to donate old hearing aids you no longer need

How can I responsibly dispose of old hearing aids I don’t need anymore?  As mentioned earlier, there are often collection points at doctor’s surgeries and audiology departments for old hearing aids along with old batteries. The NHS will accept used hearing aids they provided and refurbish them for future use.

For all other hearing aids donating them to charity will save the waste from landfills and help those that need it most, read more about hearing charity All Ears Cambodia below.


About All Ears Cambodia

All Ears Cambodia is an overseas hearing health charity run by Glyn Vaughan, based in South Yorkshire, set up to deal with all aspects of audiological issues for those who need aid in the poorest communities of this developing country.

The charity is currently accepting BTE and RICS types of hearing aids which will be repaired and refurbished, providing essential medical equipment to all ages enabling them to live in health, peace, and dignity.


You can post your unwanted hearing aids to:

Glyn Vaughan

All Ears Cambodia

21 St. Georges’s Drive


South Yorkshire

S60 5NG

 For more information, email [email protected]



Earth Day 2024

Go green this Earth Day!


To conclude

So, whether you are newly diagnosed with hearing loss, and you were worried about the environmental impact this may have, or you have a set of old hearing aids after your latest upgrade you were wondering what to do with, there are plenty of options for our customers, old and new.

Donating your old hearing aids to charities such as All Ears Cambodia is just one of the ways you can help the environment whilst also contributing to people unable to access proper hearing healthcare.

From getting the most out of your disposable batteries, and using rechargeable batteries correctly to recycling hearing aids, there are many simple and convenient ways to be sustainable and go green this Earth Day, 2024.

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Earth Day 2024

Are your hearing aids not supporting you enough anymore?  Thinking of upgrading your hearing aids?  You might need to consider upgrading your hearing aids.  Please call us free on 0800 567 7621 to speak with one of our audiologists who can support you locally.

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Managing Director & founder of Hearing Aid UK, with over 20 years of audiology experience and a member of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists Council (BSHAA) between 2015-2020.

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Common FAQs about hearing aids and hearing loss

Is this the best model for me?

If you are looking at this page then it is likely that an audiologist has suggested that you purchase this particular hearing aid, so is this the best model for you?

In general, any audiologist will always be recommending to you the model that best suits your needs. Here is a useful check list to make sure that is the case.

  • Audiologist level of knowledge. The audiologist you have seen will hopefully have a wide knowledge of all available hearing aids, however some will only be familiar with a small number of brands and therefore may not really be in a position to know which model is the best for you. It is OK to challenge their recommendation and ask them to justify why this particular brand is the one for you.
  • Do research. Read about the hearing aid that was recommended. Does it seem like it will suit your lifestyle? Does it have more or less features than you need? 
  • Be aware of sales targets. Many high street retailers have specific tie-ins to a particular manufacturer/brand. The hearing aid they have suggested may still be the correct one for you, but do your research so that you know why they might have recommended it.

If in doubt, feel free to give us a call. That's what we're here for.

Do I need one hearing aid or two?

If you have a significant hearing loss in both ears, you should be wearing two hearing aids. Here are the audiological reasons why:

Localisation. The brain decodes information from both ears and compares and contrasts them. By analysing the miniscule time delays as well as the difference in loudness of each sound reaching the ears, the person is able to accurately locate a sound source. Simply put, if you have better hearing on one side than the other, you can't accurately tell what direction sounds are coming from.

Less amplification required. A phenomena known as “binaural summation” means that the hearing aids can be set at a lower and more natural volume setting than than if you wore only one hearing aid.

Head shadow effect. High frequencies, the part of your hearing that gives clarity and meaning to speech sounds, cannot bend around your head. Only low frequencies can. Therefore if someone is talking on your unaided side you are likely to hear that they are speaking, but be unable to tell what they have said.

Noise reduction. The brain has it’s own built in noise reduction which is only really effective when it is receiving information from both ears. If only one ear is aided, even with the best hearing aid in the world, it will be difficult for you to hear in background noise as your brain is trying to retain all of the sounds (including background noise) rather than filtering it out.

Sound quality. We are designed to hear in stereo. Only hearing from one side sounds a lot less natural to us.

What are the benefits of rechargeable hearing aids?

For most people, the main benefit of a rechargeable hearing aid is simple convenience. We are used to plugging in our phones and other devices overnight for them to charge up. 

For anybody with poor dexterity or issues with their fingers, having a rechargeable aid makes a huge difference as normal hearing aid batteries are quite small and some people find them fiddly to change.

One downside is that if you forget to charge your hearing aid, then it is a problem that can't be instantly fixed. For most a 30 minute charge will get you at least two or three hours of hearing, but if you are the type of person who is likely to forget to plug them in regularly then you're probably better off with standard batteries.

Rechargeable aids are also a little bit bigger and are only available in behind the ear models.

Finally, just like with a mobile phone, the amount of charge you get on day one is not going to be the same as you get a few years down the line. Be sure to ask what the policy is with the manufacturer warranty when it comes to replacing the battery.


Are behind the ear aids better than in the ear aids?

For most people, the answer is yes. But it's never that simple.

The majority of hearing problems affect the high frequencies a lot more than the low ones. Therefore open fitting hearing aids sound a lot more natural and ones that block your ears up can make your own voice sound like you are talking with your head in a bucket. Therefore in-ear aids tend to be less natural.

However the true answer is we can't tell until we have had a look in your ears to assess the size of your ear canal, and until we have tested your hearing to see which frequencies are being affected.

People with wider ear canals tend to have more flexibility, also there are open fitting modular CIC hearing aids now that do not block your ears.

There is also the age old rule to consider, that a hearing aid will not help you if it's sat in the drawer gathering dust. If the only hearing aid you would be happy wearing is one that people can't see, then that's what you should get.

Most people can adapt to any type of hearing aid, as long as they know what to expect. Have an honest conversation with your audiologist as to what your needs are.

What are channels, and how many do I need?

Generally speaking, six or more. Unless it's none at all.

The number of channels a hearing aid has is often a simplistic way an audiologist will use to explain why one hearing aid is better than another, but channels are complex and it is really not that straightforward.

Hearing aids amplify sounds of different frequencies by different amounts. Most people have lost more high frequencies than low and therefore need more amplification in the high frequencies. The range of sounds you hear are split into frequency bands or channels and the hearing aids are set to provide the right amount of hearing at each frequency level.

Less than six channels and this cannot be done with much accuracy, so six is the magic number. However, a six channel aid is typically very basic with few other features and is suitable only for hearing a single speaker in a quiet room. The number of channels is not what you should be looking at, it's more the rest of the technology that comes with them.

As a final note, different manufacturers have different approaches. One method is not necessarily better than any other. For example some manufacturers have as many as 64 channels in their top aids. Most tend to have between 17 and 20. One manufacturer has no channels at all.

Where can I get the hearing aids covered?

Hearing aids are easily lost, misplaced or damaged and typically are one of the most expensive personal possessions an individual can own. We offer hearing aid warranty cover for £80 per year per aid.  Find out more here

How much does the hearing test cost?

All our audiologists use the very latest technology and provide the full range of tests to accurately measure your hearing for free.  Find out about what we offer all our customers here

Do home visits cost extra?

Hearing Aid UK offers all their customers free home visiting services and home visits for hearing aids - Including hearing tests, fittings, maintenance, check-ups and much more in the comfort of your own home and at your convenience.  Find out more information here

How come you're much cheaper than other places?

Here, at Hearing Aid UK, we are dedicated to offering low hearing aid prices. We achieve this by having no head office and low marketing costs.   Our hearing aid prices are amongst the lowest you will find anywhere in the world.

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